by Zena Henry
Many party goers may be looking forward to intense “sporting” this CARICOM weekend, but they should know that the government has put in place a 02:00hours curfew from this weekend that will see drinking spots ending service at the stated time.
This is according to Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan during an interview with the press Friday June 3. He said that “absolutely” the government is going ahead with the curfew since, “Right now, authorities are doing their exercises where a lot of the people are being asked to close up at 2 0’clock.”
This includes many of the larger and more prominent night spots in the city such as Palm Court, Gravity and 704. Ramjattan said a number of bars and liquor restaurants are lobbying him, but he, “Indicated to them that they are not going to get any assistance from me in that regard.” “I will not, in any way try to retract or renege on that.”
The Public Security Minister said it is also a, “legal requirement under the licensing arrangement for liquor operators that they bring a halt to their activities at 2 o’clock.”
The Minister pointed out that, “drinking has a direct relation to violence, domestic violence,” and many of the women’s organizations spoken to, have supported the curfew move.
Concerns he said, is that these groups would like to see an end to the late night drinking, especially at heavy binges. “And those who drink at around that time already doing pretty heavy binges, spending monies that could have been spent more wisely and it has a direct effect on the number of traffic offences we have and on work ethic. When you drink too late you can’t get up early to go to work. And even if you do, you are not working as efficiently as you ought to and so drinking at those hours have a impact on the economy.”
Ramjattan wants to see the curfew making waves weekdays as well. He says there are sanctions in the law to deal with persons who do not adhere to the rules. He said if it comes to that, persons would face the ultimate penalty of having their licenses suspended or revoked.